On Friday the 25th of September, the Wilderness Safaris and Children in the Wilderness (CITW) teams in Rwanda distributed 116 parcels of essential supplies, which will support 497 people for the upcoming month.
The day before, volunteers from the Rwandan team packed the parcels and divided 1 775 kg of maize meal, 917 kg of beans and 239 soaps in to parcels, the size and quantity of the parcel depending on the number of people in the respective families.
Wilderness Safaris Rwanda has continued its ongoing food relief to local communities during this difficult time, this time supporting the people most in need in the villages surrounding Gishwati Forest as well as nearby Gisunzu Primary School. In partnership with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Forest of Hope Association (FHA), the leaders of the four villages – Rwambeho, Kinihira, Nyarusuku and Ngungura – provided us with a list of the people in most need due to the COVID-19 situation.
Wilderness Safaris Rwanda’s COVID-19 relief has been ongoing monthly since April. For the first four months the team supported five villages in the Bisate Lodge area, and in August and September the company turned its focus to the Gishwati area.
“Over the last six months we have supported the local communities with a total of 885 food parcels, the weight of which amounts to well over 20 tonnes, and a value of USD13 000. The supply parcels have supported more than 3 660 people, who are deeply appreciative, as is the local and regional leadership and all Wilderness Safaris employees. For many, it is a testament to Wilderness Safaris’ commitment to changing lives, even, or perhaps especially, when times are difficult”, notes the company’s Rwanda Operations Manager, Ingrid Baas.
On Friday the 2nd of October another handover of donations took place in the Gishwati area – this time to learners of Gisunzu Primary School, the school where weekly CITW Eco-Clubs are run.
As the school is preparing for reopening after being closed due to the pandemic, the school and learners received face masks for all, sanitisers, Tippy Taps, as well as uniforms and shoes for 87 children from families who cannot provide the latter. The school also received notebooks, rulers, erasers and pencils, to be handed to the students the day the school starts.
This all forms part of Wilderness Safaris’ ongoing commitment to driving conservation tourism in the region. In May 2019, the company signed a 25-year concession agreement with the RDB for the development of a multi-phased conservation and tourism management programme for Gishwati Forest in Gishwati-Mukura National Park. “In partnership with the RDB and FHA, we are working on a multi-phased conservation and tourism management programme to develop and operate an exclusive chimpanzee and primate trekking experience in Gishwati. This ongoing support of our Gishwati communities is therefore crucial during this time, and we are looking forward to growing our partnerships and impact in this area in the years to come. Thank you to our generous Chairman’s Foundation and the donations from guests visiting Bisate Lodge and Magashi, whose substantial contributions have made the support parcels and the donation to the school possible”, Ingrid concludes.
PLEASE SUPPORT OUR CONSERVATION HEROES
~ Wilderness Safaris COVID Relief ~
It only costs USD50 to feed a family for a month. Or USD5 000 to cover the monthly operations of an anti-poaching team. Every single contribution, no matter how big or small, makes a significant difference. To learn more about Wilderness Safaris’ COVID-Relief efforts, click here.